February 25, 2020

The Difference Between Awareness and Conversion Creative

Likeable Team

Have you ever bought something online after seeing one social media ad? Probably not. After seeing the first ad you may think, “Huh, I’ve never heard of that before.” After a few more you may think, “Okay, I don’t usually do this, but this seems like something I might use.” After a few more? “FINE, you win, I’ll do it!”

In paid social, this is what we call the funnel. Depending on your strategy, you may have any number of layers, but every funnel has awareness at the top and conversion at the bottom. On some social platforms, you even have the ability to optimize an ad for a specific funnel stage.

However, to fully optimize, it’s important to tailor your creative assets to match your goals. If you’ve never heard of a product and you get an ad that says “Buy Now!” you probably won’t. For any paid assets, whether you’re on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest, it’s important to display your logo clearly, keep to a consistent brand voice, and maintain a unique design style. But there are a few nuances between awareness and conversion assets that can go a long way.

Awareness Ads

  • Define your brand. If your brand or product is new—or even re-imagined—it’s time to introduce yourself. What does your company do? Why is it unique? How can you help the people you’re targeting? Boil those answers down to one sentence, and base your awareness ads on that.
  • Grab their attention, then tell your story. You have three seconds to interest your viewer—maybe less. Whether it’s through an image or a video, it’s crucial to get that main message across in that window. But there’s also the opportunity to continue the story. This can mean linking to a page where users can learn more or extending your video past three seconds to include more info. As long as your content is engaging for the whole duration, these videos can reach up to a minute.
  • Add value for your audience. Another great way to engage with people is by inserting your product or service into education or entertainment. If you’re a skincare brand, try leading with helpful tips. If your product is something silly like Squatty Potty, entertainment is a great way to go. Branded content is one way to feel less intrusive in the feed while establishing your name.

Here are a few examples:



Conversion Ads

  • Show, don’t tell. People buying online are always wary of scams. If you’re selling a beauty product, show an unretouched video or image of someone trying it out. If you’re selling an app, give the audience a glimpse of what the interface looks like. If the product is physical, make sure the packaging is front and center so buyers know what they’re getting.
  • Sweeten the pot. Sometimes, even when someone really wants to buy your product, they hold out because they don’t want to spend the money. Offering sales, coupon codes, and special offers can help put shoppers over the edge. Adding a time limit on these offers also creates a sense of urgency.
  • Be direct. You’ve wined and dined the audience with awareness ads, and this is your chance to seal the deal. These ads generally work best as static images or short, attention-grabbing microvideos that get straight to the point. Wherever you can (headline, post copy, creative, CTA button to name a few), deliver a clear call to action. Some common ones include Shop Now, Book Now, Download App, and Sign Up.

Examples for your viewing pleasure:



Of course, the strategy for each product category and brand is going to be a bit different. The best thing to do when developing your funnel stages and ad creative is to put yourself in the consumer’s shoes and ask: “After seeing these ads, would I know enough to feel confident making a purchase?”


Does your brand need help creating effective social ads? (Or even just placing them?) We can help.

Tags: Best Practices, Facebook, Instagram, Paid Media, Pinterest

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